Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A new first run

I ran 6 miles tonight in my new shoes and it felt wonderful! It was like running on a cushion of air. I can't explain to you how different it felt to run tonight. I guess I was so used to pounding in the old shoes that these felt like a whole new experience.

I suppose that just proves the old saying that you never know how good you got it until you don't have it. I would add another line to that and say that you really realize how great it is when you lose it for awhile and then get it back. Our bodies are wonderful at adapting to circumstances and they will make do with whatever we give them for as long as they can until something just gives out. Tonight I think I heard my knees sigh and say thank you. They get a bit of break, call it a vacation.

Thanks for listening.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Natural Running goes too far

There's this big fad in running right now that involved running without "real" shoes. There's some book that promotes the belief that you should run naturally, without the aid of cushioning or motion control. I find this mildly interesting and must admit that it has some valid reasoning behind it.

I, however, readily accept that I'm a lazy American and that my feet are, and have been, spoiled. If I had been running barefoot since I was a kid I could probably go out and run a marathon without shoes but I haven't therefore I won't. Maybe one day I'll take the time to try this idea but if I do I figure I will have to take it slow and re-learn how to run. I'm not interested in that right now so I'm sticking with my shoes.

This is the point where you say, "Damn Willie, where are you going with this?". I know that you are saying that because that's what I'm thinking. Oh yeah, now I remember. Since I recently became poor I haven't been able to buy new running shoes for over a year now. I've been rotating between 3 of my old pairs, the best of which has 4 marathons on them. I knew I was heading for disaster in doing this but I figured this was the closest I would get to trying this "natural" running theory. I wasn't concerned about my old shoes not giving me the motion control that I need since I wear orthotics which handle that area nicely. The area that bit me is the lack of cushioning.

I'm bigger than your average runner (too many donuts and too much ice cream) so I need some cushioning. I don't look for those super-duper cushioning shoes but just some form of shock absorbent material between my feet and the pavement. It turns out these old shoes just aren't doing it for me. My Thursday evening run hurt my knees horribly and it was only a short, easy run. I felt good but could tell that I was really pounding my legs. By the end of the run I was in real pain in both knees and knew that I had pushed these shoes too far.

So natural running is out the window for Willie. Shoes are a necessity for me. Maybe I'll cut down on the ice cream and donuts. Nah, probably not going to happen.

Thanks for listening

Thursday, May 13, 2010


I was recently lamenting my dismay (please note the words lamenting and dismay in the same sentence) with Brooks discontinuing the Infiniti model shoe which is my all-time favoritest shoe.

sidebar: I haven't actually bought these shoes for a few shoe cycles but that was only because Brooks limited the available colors of the Infiniti to puke orange and ass-colored something else.

So I was talking about this when someone mentioned that they buy their shoes online because they can still buy older models. What a brilliant idea! The Internet! Why didn't I think of that? I'll tell you why. Because I have a deep love for the local running store. Any local running store. There's just something special about having a place to go and talk running with people who share my passion. The local running store is like a favorite bar that you go to see those people that know you and you know them. You could drink at home but it wouldn't be the same would it?

So now I have a problem. I found my favorite color of Infiniti's online and they have my size but my guilt has kept me from clicking that little "buy" button. What should I do? I pose this question to the few of you who still bother to come by and listen to my dribble.

Thanks for listening

Sunday, May 9, 2010

OKC Memorial Marathon 2010

The Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon seems to be my new nemesis. In true comic book fashion it's one of those rivals that was born out of a friendship and love first. I love this marathon, it's my (current) hometown marathon, it gives me the opportunity to meet celebrity runners, and it lets me call it "my" marathon.

Beginning last year, however, it stopped loving me and began to fight me. If you remember last year, I ended up in the medical tent following the Memorial marathon and had an absolutely horrible experience. I wrote this off as an isolated incident and could easily explain why it happened.

After running a 3:37 at the A to A marathon a few weeks before the Memorial, I had high hopes for running a decent time and enjoying a great day with "my" marathon. It didn't happen that way. I tried hard to stay up with the 3:30 pace group but lost them around mile 15 and never recovered. I don't have much to say about the experience other than to say I finished in 3:51 and was lucky to have achieved that time. Massive stomach problems plagued me throughout the race and for many hours following the race. It was a beautiful day and the weather was perfect for a PR but "my" marathon bit me....again!

I'm trying to convince myself that "my" marathon still loves me and that she's just raising the bar and beckoning me to a higher standard of performance the way a true love does. This feeling is competing against the feeling that "my" marathon has rejected me for some crime I have unknowingly committed against it.

It's hard to having something you love cause you trouble. I think that's the hardest kind of trouble to deal with. You care about it so you can't just write it off or deal harshly with it. You have to find a way to resolve the conflict with as little collateral damage as possible because you can't imagine living a life without this thing in it. Stupid love, makes things so difficult.

Thanks for listening

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


I've had my moments.

I may not look like much now and I may not feel like much ever, but I've had my moments when I did things that I never thought I could do. Unfortunately those moments span both sides of the line that separates good and bad. Also unfortunately I remember both the good and bad moments with the same level of detail and clarity.

I've run 17 marathons in my running life. There was a time when I never thought I could 26.2 miles.

While I was running those 17 marathons I lost a piece of my life that I'll never get back. There was a time when I never thought I'd ever give that piece up.

I've met many wonderful people in my running life, people I now consider dear friends, people I never would have imagined being friends with before.

I've also lost many friends along that same journey and even made a few enemies. There was a time when I couldn't have imagined having enemies.

This is life. This is my life. I'm living it and I'm learning it. I hate that I've done some things and I wish I could take those moments back but I can't. I also love some of the moments and wouldn't trade them for all the gold in the world. Someday when I'm lost in this world I'm going to remember some moments and they are going to be all I have. My hope is that the moments I remember will make me happy. Maybe that's the sign of a life well lived.

I have many stories to tell about my recent runs but if I'm ever going to get back to writing I need to write what's in my heart at the moment and get it out so it doesn't clog up the channel. This song hit me today and I felt the need to write down these thoughts. It's a start, I'm trying, I've missed it.

Thanks for listening